2021 is a special year for the Wisconsin Great River Road. The 250 mile stretch of iconic highway was granted “All-American Road” status by the Federal Highway Administration; a designation reserved for only the very best of America’s National Scenic Byways.
To be an All-American Road a byway must be nationally significant–a destination unto itself–with one-of-a-kind features that do not exist elsewhere. It must provide an exceptional traveling experience so recognized by travelers that they would make the drive a primary reason for their trip.
In 2012, readers of Huffington Post voted the Wisconsin Great River Road America’s “prettiest drive,” beating out other scenic travel routes including Maui’s Road to Hana and California’s Big Sur Coastal Drive. As the state’s only National Scenic Byway, you know you’re in for something special.
Your road trip begins in Prescott, the northern gateway to the Great River Road. One of the oldest towns in the state, Prescott is located at the confluence of the St. Croix and Mississippi rivers, a distinction you will want to remember later in your tour.
If you’re coming across the state line, you’ll cross the St. Croix River over the Prescott Drawbridge. The region’s only highway drawbridge with active traffic, this unique steel girder bridge incorporates a double-leaf bascule drawbridge section to accommodate river traffic. Adjacent to the drawbridge you’ll see the massive BNSF Railroad Bridge.